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GroupM Guides Clients With Data Ethics Compass

GroupM Data Ethics Compass
GroupM's Data Ethics Compass warns campaign planners of potential issues (Image credit: GroupM)

Media buyer GroupM said it has collaborated with Unilever to create a Data Ethics Compass, an online tool to help evaluate the risk involved with using data assets to target consumer with marketing campaigns.


(Image credit: GroupM)

The tool is used when campaign are being planned to judge the appropriateness of using data, based on, among other things, who the data is collected, and also to consider whether consumers might feel that the way the data is being used is “creepy.”

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The Compass takes into consideration where the campaign will run, where the advertiser and agency is located and the category in which the client competes.

“Our Data Ethics Compass provides clients a consistent approach on how best to navigate ethical risk and prioritize and respect the privacy of people on the other side of the screen,” said Krystal Olivieri, GroupM’s Global senior VP for data strategy and partnerships. “This new capability demonstrates GroupM’s belief that even though you have access to certain data, it doesn’t mean you should always use it. We have an obligation as an industry to re-establish an appropriate balance.”

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The compass is designed to highlight concerns the agency and its client might want to address before launching campaigns employing data using a continuum ranging from green and yellow, which would indicate low to acceptable risk, to orange and red, warning of potential problems.

“Creating a responsible digital ecosystem continues to be a priority for Unilever and adding an ethical overlay for use of data in media is a key next step,” said Jennifer Gardiner, Unilever’s senior director of media. “Consumers are growing increasingly distrustful of advertising and lack clarity in how their data is being collected and used in profiling tactics. Our partnership with GroupM on the launch of this much-needed tool sends a reassuring and bold signal that we must all hold ourselves, our partners and agencies to the highest standards, truly putting consumers first.”

As more marketers adopt advanced advertising approaches, including addressable advertising the use of data because more integral to the process. Marketers and media companies want to use the data to make advertising more engaging and improve the media experience for consumers. But privacy is also also a concern among consumers and violating a customers trust could lead to severe consequences.

“The burgeoning of privacy protection laws around the world reflects the widespread consumer demand to have the interests of the individual paramount in considerations concerning data usage,” said Nicola McCormic, general conceal at GroupM. "With ethics ranking three times more important to company trust than competence, binary decisions taken on whether data is ‘opted in’ or not are no longer sustainable in our industry. GroupM’s Data Ethics Compass enables us to think more holistically about data use and the impact on the end-user.”

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.